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Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Request Line: Blade article on BOT meeting

In the comments under "More words," Anonymous said...
I hear tell that THE BLADE ran an article on 3/24 on the Provost's presentation to the Board re benchmarking study. If someone would, could you please post it or make a link, as I do not really know how to do this.

Here you go:

Article published March 24, 2009
Report suggests changes at UT arts-sciences college

The University of Toledo has received an external review report for the college of arts and sciences that suggests ways to achieve a more concrete identity by focusing on faculty and curriculum changes.

The nine-page report follows roundtable discussions with university and community members and a study that compared UT with its peers.

"This really focuses the discussion," UT Provost Rosemary Haggett said. "It shines a light on areas that need to be addressed."

The Learning Alliance for Higher Education at the University of Pennsylvania, which was paid more than $75,000 for the assessment, suggested five areas of focus:

•Rethink the definitions of scholarship and academic reward system for a more balanced recognition of scholarly achievement.

•Reform the curriculum to address evolving learning needs.

•Revise teaching and advising methods for more effective learning.

•Devise new approaches to the use of space.

•Strengthen the college's graduate education programs.

The review was prompted by a college faculty vote of no confidence in former dean Yueh-Ting Lee, which led to his resignation.

The report was shared yesterday with the UT Board of Trustees.

The Learning Alliance review always was meant to be a starting point to focus the conversa-tion, Ms. Haggett said, and she anticipates more discussions and analysis of the suggestions before any changes are made.

One trustee asked if the university considered separating arts and sciences as it tried to bring focus to the college, an idea that has come up before and was not well received.

Ms. Haggett responded by saying that most of UT's peer institutions have one college of arts and sciences, and a common way of focusing the varied disciplines is by having a separate school for the fine arts, such as music and arts.

Also during yesterday's trustee meeting, the idea of UT Trustee Tom Brady as a potential interim dean for the college of education came up briefly.

UT President Dr. Lloyd Jacobs said he expects to hear soon from the state regarding his request for a leave of absence for Mr. Brady from the board so that he could serve in that role.

Mr. Brady, chief executive officer and founder of Plastic Technologies Inc. in Springfield Township, was not at the meeting.

Students have started an online petition asking Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland to deny the leave request. The petition supports Dr. Jacobs searching for an educator for the position. The petition had more than 65 signatures yesterday.

Evan Morrison, a senior studying history in the arts and sciences college, helped create the petition and said many students consider Mr. Brady an inappropriate selection.

"We want to let them know what is going on on campus and there is opposition to [Dr. Jacobs'] decisions and the direction he is pushing the university," Mr. Morrison said.

The trustees meeting also included an overview of UT's requests for federal stimulus dollars.

UT has asked for more than $430 million in
80-plus requests that include facility upgrades, work-force development, research, and clinical services.

The top priority is a $40 million request to convert the Scott Park campus into a Campus of Energy and Innovation, which would build on the university's established strengths in the area of alternative energy. It also coincides with its plan to create a School of Solar and Advanced Renewable Energy.

UT trustees yesterday also approved a formal written performance evaluation process for Dr. Jacobs with specific goals of improving faculty recruitment, enhancing UT's external structure, improving the quality of programs and financial stability, and creating a more prepared student body.



Oldster said...

it seems to me that the provost's comments as reported by the Blade make much more of this benchmarking/round-table reports than the substance of the proceedings will support.

we should beware , for in this fog they will see what they want to see--at the expense of the quality of the university

Anonymous said...

Horns N' Fins:

Thank you for posting this.

OhioU Alum said...

Aren't you guys aware the quality of the University is a joke? What fantasy are you guys living in?